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October 28, 2007

The Panthers' grades for Sunday ...

Here’s the Panthers report card from Sunday’s 31-7 loss to Indianapolis:

QUARTERBACKS. It didn’t matter if it was Vinny Testaverde or David Carr. Neither QB could get the ball to Steve Smith or even look down the field. GRADE: F

RUNNING BACKS. DeShaun Foster average 3.3 yards a carry and DeAngelo Williams averaged 2.8. GRADE: D

RECEIVERS. Smith was heavily covered all game and Keary Colbert and Drew Carter played the way they always do. GRADE: F

OFFENSIVE LINE. Dwight Freeney didn’t have any sacks and neither did the rest of the Colts. That’s a moral victory. But the blocking was only good enough to get the ground game 3.3 yards a carry. GRADE: C-

DEFENSIVE LINE. Other than Kris Jenkins’ late hit, the Panthers didn’t get near Peyton Manning. Did you notice how much the Colts ran at Julius Peppers and how much success they had? GRADE: F

LINEBACKERS. The Colts ran for 131 yards and Manning was able to find his tight ends often enough. GRADE: C-

DEFENSIVE BACKS. The good news is Marvin Harrison didn’t play. The bad news is Reggie Wayne caught seven passes for 168 yards and a touchdown. GRADE: D

SPECIAL TEAMS: Ryne Robinson put a punt return on the ground and the Panthers averaged only 17.8 yards on kickoff returns. GRADE: D-

COACHING: Hey, for almost half a game, John Fox and his staff had a pretty good game plan. But Indianapolis’ Tony Dungy showed why he’s considered the best in the league at halftime adjustments. GRADE: D


Posted by Observer Sports on October 28, 2007 at 11:15 PM | Permalink


Panther comments and observations:

1- Our special teams are AWFUL....AWFUL...AWFUL. Why did our special teams coach keep his job this year? We were terrible last year and worse this year. We can't get a kickoff past the 20 yard line if our lives depended on it. We have no punt return game. WE put kickoffs either out of bounds or landing at the 15 yard line...on and on and on.

2- David Carr is a BUST. He does not have the confidence of the team...it is just obvious. The team is MUCH more confident in Testaverde. Carr looks pertified in the pocket and can't get the ball to one of the best receivers in the NFL.

3- Ken Lucas is having an AWFUL year. I was a big Lucas fan for a while but this year he is getting burnt on a regular basis and plays WAY too soft.

4- I just can't understand why Keary Colbert still has an NFL roster spot

5- Why are we still running draw plays on third and long? I thought we got rid of Dan Henning.

6- The fan experience at BOA stadium is just awful. During breaks, when we should be getting the fans fired up, we are subject to endless commercials and "show your VIC card" YAAAAAAAAYYYY....This DOES NOT get a crowd fired up...play some pump up music...do something to get the atmosphere lively. PLEEEEEAAASSSSEEEE!!!!!

I can't take it anymore!

Posted by: TC | Oct 28, 2007 11:32:22 PM

I think it is about time to put D. Jarrett on the field. Let him return punts and kickoffs. A 2nd rounder that has been inactive for almost the entire season with 1 maybe 2 catches. What do we have to lose?

I'm not sure if Fox will be back next season. I still remember last year when the O-Line was just horrible and everyone wanted Hennings head. What happen to the zone-blocking scheme.

It appears to me that Foster is playing with no heart, I think it is time to let D. Williams start a game and see what happens.

The worst thing that can happen next week is a win !!!

Posted by: Animal187 | Oct 29, 2007 12:32:22 AM

Piiss Poor Performance Today!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Carr sucks!!!!!!! Man, what a bad choice the Panthers made when they brought Carr in. It's not suprising that Carr holds the most sacked quarterback record; after the ball is hicked to him, he develops deer in the head lights syndrome. Carr also can't read the defense nor can he find open recievers. Carr wasn't the only problem. The defense played flat in the second half; it almost looked like they didnt want to be out there in the latter part of the game. I've said it before and I'll say it again, the Panthers just don't have much heart. Who knows why. Maybe it's the coaches fault or perhaps it's the players fault, but I don't really care whose fault it is, they just need to fix the problem. Lets pray that VT can start next week. My prediction is the Panthers lose if Carr starts next week. That sounds pretty logical dosen't it? I am also a bit perturbed by the offensive play calling, it could be much better. I truely think this is a wasted season; I just don't see the Panthers getting on track this year.

Posted by: Ace | Oct 29, 2007 12:36:04 AM

You'd think that after 12 years of going to Panthers games... people would figure out when to cheer and when to shut up. I couldn't believe how loud the stadium was when the Panthers were trying to convert a third down in the red zone!!!!!!!!

And yes, that was obviously early in the game when a) people were there and b) the Panthers were past midfield.

Posted by: Shhhhhhhhh! | Oct 29, 2007 1:02:22 AM

Players that should be cut next year, for having no heart and just plain stink...
1. Car Stinks 10. Jenkins
2. Morgan always injured 11. Gamble
3. Peppers No Heart Shows up 12. Rucker
4. Colbert Wasted roster spot 13. Deloatch
5. Carter Wasted roster spot 14. Seward
6. Robinson Wasted roster spot 15.Jamision
7. Lucas Just a waste
8. Anderson Wasted roster spot
9. Kemoeatu Wasted roster spot

Posted by: D Hendrix | Oct 29, 2007 2:27:02 AM

It's good that the O-line didn't allow a sack but they deserve an F simply because of their atrocious run blocking.

The play calling with DeAngelo Williams is way too predictable. Every run play for him doesn't have to go to the outside. Defenses can see the trend.

Posted by: Jerad H. | Oct 29, 2007 2:42:24 AM

Defensive backs other than Ken Lucas should get an A, Lucas gets an F. He is terrible and I wish that some of these 'writers' would MAN UP and actually PUBLISH a story in the newspaper ripping Ken Lucas, have that be the only topic of the story. But I dont expect this staff comprised of Pat and Stan to MAN UP and do that, they may lose their steak dinners provided by the Richardsons.

Posted by: mattdaddy | Oct 29, 2007 7:36:22 AM

Do you have some vendetta against Peppers or something? I thought Pep definately brought pressure and if you watched the game you would see that more often than not he was a step away from grabbing Manning. He definately was in Mannings face. As far as running to Peps side, its pretty hard to make a play when you got walled off by a tackle and a TE. On one TD run I saw Pep get into position for a stop, get his hands on the RB and then have about 4 offensive linemen barrel into the both of them and push them into the endzone. Pep is one guy, cut him a break. He carried this team last year and got no help in return. You have teams like the Giants bringing a creative pass rush and then Pep, the most naturally gifted athlete in the game gets stuff with the least inventive minds in football.

Posted by: Jonathan | Oct 29, 2007 9:28:58 AM

Peps actually was playing with some fire yesterday, despite not having any big plays. Maybe the Colts did run at Peps side, but he cant always get to the running back, he's got a tackle and a tight end on him at the moment of the snap, its the LB's like Diggs who have the luxery of not being immediatly blocked and who are more responsible for stopping the run.

Posted by: mattdaddy | Oct 29, 2007 9:39:28 AM

How does Danny Crossman keep his job?

Posted by: Steven | Oct 29, 2007 10:26:24 AM

There is a simple solution here:


It's time for a change. He rode a strong defense for a couple of years, but now we don't have that. Get rid of him now.

Posted by: PanthaFan | Oct 29, 2007 10:59:14 AM

Steve Smith might as well go play somewhere else. I feel bad for the guy. What a waste of great heart and talent. Kudos to him for continuing to be a team player and keeping a good attitude when he's getting no touches. He gets paid to go out and run sprints on Sunday.

Posted by: PanthaFan | Oct 29, 2007 11:03:28 AM

You guys are morons. Jarrett returned punts and kickoffs? How mentally challenged is that? He has zero break away speed. I do however agree that he should get in the game.
Next the genius who thinks Peppers, Jenkins, Gamble and others need to get cut is completely out of his mind. I'll give you Carr and Robinson but thats about it. Carr does one read an then he gets so scared that he has to run the ball. Robinson's only job is returning punts and he can't even do that right and he single handedly cause the momentum shift to the Colts which which led to the blow out.
And no the answer is not to fire John Fox. He and his staff are not the blame for poor execution on the field.

Posted by: Brainiac | Oct 29, 2007 11:17:26 AM

Ryne Robinson will make up for that....Cut him a break, rookie mistake....The best go through that....Making mistakes that cost their team a win. He will redeem himself watch... Our team isnt yet complete remember that. Still a working progress... 9 more games left. We have a chance and very good posibility of winning 6 of those games which would have us at 10-6...we win 5 thats 9-7....Still a playoff spot. Now I dont think that 8-8 season like last year would do it for us this also. With the giants playing the way they are playing looking like Eli's trying to end up plying his brother in the Super Bowl. No we dont want a Manning Bowl. We have to go back to practice with enthusiasium and move on and prepare for the second half of the season run. The panthers see that no one is behind them even with the injuries and stuff...Could be 0-7 but WE ARE NOT so stop actin like it....Appreciate......that we are not oing through what the Rams and the Dolpinhs are going through. Keep it together Panthers and Panther World. We have to creat more turnovers...Point blank! Stay postive a long season still awaits...i would rather see what is going to happen later than whats going on now...that game was a trap game for our confidence and 3 winning streak with america and their attorneys behind the Pats and Colts game with both goin in undefeated. So what....thats now, we dont know exactly whats going to go on with them teams later. High possibility....but WE ARE NOT GOD so we dont know. Could be someone totally different who knows...Just go back to practice and work hard and play harder... Work Hard and Play Harder...........
Oh, a call for D. Jarrett...they tried keeping morgan out to see if it would mess up the chemistry that has been showing these past few weeks on D. Get him in their and let Beason be the one flying over the field..Let him just roam and make plays...Teams cant defend that when they never know where he is going to be at...Then the designated plays like yesterday for him to take him out of the play that will be Morgan...Let them target Morgan and thats where Beason will be even more explosive helpin out Harris create more turnovers....Harris brought his same mentality he had on the Bears Defense... We have to all get tough no perpetrating....make it happen...Peace!

One more thang...Get the dang ball to Steve Smith, I finally agree with all of you that vocal that cause I have never felt the way I felt yesterday in a Carolina game. I forgot Steve Smith was even on the team...

Posted by: Forever Fan | Oct 29, 2007 11:50:53 AM

How would you rate the delicious Bojangles chicken at the game? Please stick to what is clearly most important to the franchise. The puritan atmosphere that is in the stands reminds me of the old joke that Baptists don't have sex standing up because someone might think they are dancing. So, don't eat your Bojangles standing up, or someone might think you are cheering and complain to security.

Posted by: Willy | Oct 29, 2007 12:25:22 PM

give ryne robinson a break. remember that game in Smiths rookie year where he fumbled 2 straight kickoff returns vs. the Packers? he'll be alright.

lucas is bad, gamble is pretty bad, kemo sucks, rucker needs to hang em up.

we need a new LT or RG asap. watch any colts or patriots game, and neither Manning or Brady gets touched the entire game.

Posted by: tom | Oct 29, 2007 1:35:32 PM

Lets face it: The Panthers are pretty bad off. They have a zero winning percentage at home and the winning percentage of their road opponents is near zero. I can guarantee you that the Bobcats will win SOME for the home crowd and they will occasionally knock off some "top" teams. If you wanna see some real ball stay tuned for Tarheel Roundball. They are expected to win every time they take the court AND you can watch them on TV.

Posted by: mo | Oct 29, 2007 2:06:07 PM

What ever happened to all of these creative new ways to get the ball to Steve Smith that Davidson was going to bring. Looks to me like they are trying to keep the ball out of Steve's hands. Carr never even looked his way yesterday. Is there some sort of a pi$$ing contest going on there?

Posted by: Frustrated | Oct 29, 2007 2:17:03 PM

Steven, the answer to your question is John Kasay and Jason Baker.
As to firing Fox, I find it a little ridiculous that you'd do that to a guy who has taken a team that lost its starting QB (and one of the better ones in the league, at that) and has them winning their division as of week 9. No, the division isn't good, and yes, the team has had consecutive poor performances at home, but if the Cats put the ball in the end zone instead of Decrepit Vinny throwing a pick inside their five yard line, the run game goes to work, Peppers considers putting pressure on Manning, and we win the game. As things stand, however, we're in line to host a game against the Lions, and if you think that's a game in which we don't have a chance, you've got another thing coming. The NFC is WIDE OPEN, and we've still got a chance to make some noise, and potentially make at least the NFC Championship, or even the SUPER BOWL. No team with a legitimate shot to accomplish those things, regardless of the circumstances that made it possible, should be questioned or have its coach on the hot seat. There is not a game left on the schedule that is unwinnable (Dallas is the closest, but they've YET to play and beat anybody worth a damn), and I count three gimmes (ATL, SF, JAC). This team is very much alive, and despite the fact that its fanbase is among the most pitiful in the sporting universe, they'll probably use that to drive them. No, they don't handle being favorites well, and they don't take well to the "comforts" of home cooking. What they do do well, though, is respond to adversity when their backs are against the wall, and I think one thing every Panther fan can agree on is that that time is NOW. Being pessimistic and critical, however, is neither going to solve any problems nor improve the situation. Times like these are what being a fan is all about. It's a sad statement to see the stadium like it was at the end of the game when I've seen it ALIVE (Steelers game in '96 after the Cota interception, Cowboys playoff game in '03, etc.) In short, don't be the guy who is upset at John Fox and Marty Hurney for "not doing their job" when you haven't done YOURS as a fan. Don't leave the game, don't ever stop making noise. I don't care if it's obnoxious...where else can you behave that way and get away with it? Having known the success of runs like '03 and '05, I can't conceivably imagine why our fanbase seems to welcome failure. Collectively, let's get over it.

Posted by: Michael Procton | Oct 29, 2007 3:34:55 PM

Mr. Procton I completely agree.

Posted by: MegaBrain21 | Oct 29, 2007 4:20:35 PM

Its not the players its the archaic offensive play calling. You guys have the Brown old offensive coordinator. And now you guys look like the 2006 Cleveland Browns. The Browns smartend up real quick and now rank amongst the tops in the NFL on offense.

But Panther fans and Pat YASINSKAS please note:

Steve Smith is not going to beat triple coverage, therefore every play cannot go to him. Colbert had a good game, one drop didnt affect the game. Carter is only a 3rd down reciever and he only runs the routs that are called. His One catch isnt bad when your thrown to one time.

DeAngelo Williams is not a power running back. So expecting him to grind out the defense isnt going to happen. Oh and Same for Deshaun Foster.

Its okay to throw the ball down field sometime. Other than 3rd and long.

You will never beat a team by throwing 7 yard hooks to the tight end all game.

Its okay to get ahead of the other team and still try to score touchdowns, not be conservative and hope the defense isnt too tired and the clock runs out.

Julius peppers is only going to be as good as the other pass rushers. If his D-line partners arent creating problems then double teaming Pep is usually what happens. Oh and when you drop JP back in pass coverage and it turns out to be a run then dont expect him to make a tackle behind the line of scrimmage.

The secondary isnt good because there is no D-Line push. Opposing QB's have all day to decide where they wanna throw. Also the Safties arent that fast but can come up to tackle., so getting beat deep is what happens.

Also if critcism is going to be placed on the player, let me be the first to place some on the fans. The fans show up casually late, they let opposing fans out do them at their own stadium. Panther fans come wearing NASCAR gear at an NFL game. There is no feel of home field advantage, because Khaki shorts and golf shirts just dont give off that "we are here to Whip that A$$ feel, its more of a "let me grade your homework", or "Welcome to Kinkos" feel. Save that look for your back yard BBQ or office party. If you need to know how football fans act win lose or draw, rain, snow or shine check out Philly, Chicago, Cleveland, Oakland. What Im saying is the team is going to try to play to the level of their fans excitment. And sure they are boring to watch and seem to have no idea what they want to do on offense and their secondary cant cover a bed. But they are still in first place in their division and the playoffs can be reached with the help of the fans support.

With that said please lets remember that its 2007 not 2003 and this team just isnt that good.

Posted by: The Critic | Oct 29, 2007 4:52:52 PM

I'm not anti-Fox although it will seem like it, but I find it ironic the people who point out how bad the players or how the players don't execute the gameplan are also the ones that defend Fox as a great coach at the same time. He's the one who selected these players along with his pal Hurney, so isn't he partly responsible for putting players on the field that can't execute his gameplan?

Yeah, so Jake is out and we have a bad problem at QB. The Bears made it to the Super Bowl with perhaps one of the worst QBs in the history of the NFL. The Ravens won a Super Bowl with Trent Dilfer. Point is, it can happen, but it won't for us this year.

So when is Fox going to take credit for the bad times and bad decisions like he does the good times and good decisions? I've supported Fox from day one, but I believe we are starting to see his limitations as a coach, underlined by his below-average evalution of talent.

And to Procton, sure Fox has us at 4-3 right now, but count who the wins were against. Cardinals led by their their 3rd string off the street QB, Falcons which we would not have beat had Deangelo Hall not blown his top, Saints which gave us the win, and the Rams, the worst team in the NFL right now. And if you think Jacksonville will be a gimme, you're wrong.

Right now we are staring 7-9 down again and that is frankly unacceptable. When are injuries going to stop being the excuse? They signed David Carr for the very reason he is having to play right now and it was obviously the wrong decision. They made the worst possible decision at the worst possible position to make that decision and paying the guy starter money for it. Bottom line, this is a business and Jerry Richardson is throwing away a lot of money on a, excuse me for this, piece of shit Carr.

I'm typically a half-glass full guy, but reality sometimes has to take precedence over optimism and that has taken place for me at this point. With the exception of a few, we have sub-par players who would otherwise be on the bench or practice squad with other teams and a coaching staff that can't seem to control their team and keep them focused and motivated from one half to the other. Someone has to take the blame for that and unfortunately that falls on two men........John Fox and Marty Hurney.

Posted by: Matt A. | Oct 29, 2007 5:29:08 PM

"The quarterbacks don't get the ball to Steve Smith".....I thought we traded Steve Smith and Julius Peppers in the preseason for Curtis Deloatch and a Wade Boggs rookie card!

Posted by: WTF? | Oct 29, 2007 8:30:49 PM

Hey Mo
I would suggest since you root for the Tarheels, you should switch your NFL loyalty over to the Eagles. That way you could be comfortable with most of the other azzholes in the country. Find another blog to post your basketball dreams on.

Posted by: Pop Hansbrough Another One | Oct 30, 2007 2:33:12 PM

I'll keep it (relatively)short and sweet.

1. I love the Panthers, always have
2. Dan Morgan's Panthers career should have ended after 2003 - imagine if we had Will Witherspoon.
3. Lucas sucks, Gamble is decent, Marshall has flashes of "good"-ness, but seems to be playing catch up
4. Beason is awesome
5. Carr is horrendous
6. John Fox is pissing me off - lies to reporters (and fans)"Uh yeah, Jake is day-to day" - my A$$, NEVER gets mad at his players - sometimes you gotta give em a tongue lashing - claps after three and outs
6. When you're playing the F---in Colts, you can't run draw plays on 3rd and 8
7. Somebody already said it, but special teams is probably the worst in the league
8. Julias who?
9. Jeff King was our LEADING RECEIVER LAST WEEK with no receptions over 9 yards. Does that bother anybody else

With that said, we can all bitch and bitch, but I didn't like the booing at the stadium on Sunday. I hate Carr too, but I didn't boo him. Better to be quiet than to boo your team.


Let's get a nice push - could easily make the playoffs in this division, then maybe we'll get inspired by the 03 cardiac cats and rip some s--t up!

Posted by: PanthersMakeMeSad | Oct 30, 2007 2:37:40 PM

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